Society tells us that young mums are irresponsible, benefit scrounging kids. That they wander around with buggies full of babies, hair scraped back like Vicky Pollard with no ambition in their lives. The media tells us they have no focus, no drive and are in it for free housing, free money and an easy life.
I never expected to be a young mum, but who really does. I was in the middle of a degree and faced with the fact I was set to be not only 'Student and Laura' but now 'Mum' too. At a time when I was my most vulnerable I had people telling me that I was making a foolish mistake and throwing my life away.
When Max was born I knew I had made the right choice. I wasn't being irresponsible, I went back to university and worked my hardest to prove to my peers and higher that having a child didn't hold me back. I was then applauded. Told that I wasn't like the other mums, those ones that sit and do nothing. All because I graduated university and found work, built a future and worked hard.
But who really defines what a young mum should be like? The majority of my friends that are young mums are happy and successful in their own way. We clothe, feed, wash and love our children the same way that everyone else does. We take them to school, teach them to read and nurture them into young adults and beyond.
So if we do all of this the same as every other mum, why are we penalised for how we choose to live our lives? Mums come from all walks of life and all experiences so why should we judge others without knowing them. Why do we put them into a box on the shelf and label them without a second thought?
Let young mums achieve their goals. Whether that be graduating university, running a business or even getting showered each day. Let them achieve their goals the same way everyone else is praised for reaching theirs.
I never expected to be a young mum. People may have said I had ruined my life, but I can honestly say it has shaped me into who I am today. And for that I am thankful. I am a young mum, and I am proud to be one.